At a time of great economic volatility, there has been a significant decrease in the ability of decision makers at all levels to rely effectively on only experience or intuition to make decisions. The demand to respond faster, with greater insight into ongoing internal and external events based on facts, is increasing. As a result, a growing number of organizations are moving toward having more pervasive business intelligence (BI) by turning to evidence-based decision making supported by a range of BI and analytics technology and processes that enable decision makers to have the best possible intelligence about customers, finances, operations, suppliers, and the market. Although IDC is expecting worldwide spending on business analytics software to be $33 billion in 2012, technology is only part of the story. Higher BI and analytics competency and pervasiveness are achieved when organizational culture, business processes, and technologies are designed and implemented with the goal of improving or automating all strategic, operational, and tactical decision-making capabilities of all stakeholders. That is a lofty goal, but one that leading organizations are striving to achieve. There is growing evidence that higher BI and analytics competency and pervasiveness have a direct impact on competitiveness. However, justifying large capital outlays for software will be challenging unless short-term benefits can be directly correlated to the investment. As more incremental projects are undertaken, it will be important to execute these projects within the long-term strategic plan of organizationwide decision management.
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